Horizontal Test Stand


The Horizontal Test Stand (HTS) is a liquid bi-propellant rocket engine test stand designed for functional and performance testing of BURPG engines.


HTS will be used in the short term to test Iron Lotus and Lotus Dev 2 and has the capability to support engines with thrust ratings up to 10,000 lbf.

Its design is an evolution of the Vertical Test Stand (VTS). Benefits over VTS include longer term testing capabilities, modular construction ensuring adaptability, more accurate tests due to the static nature of the fluids routing, and faster and simpler assembly (1 hour vs. 4+ hours).

Fluid systems deliver liquid nitrous oxide oxidizer, liquid isopropyl alcohol fuel, and high pressure nitrogen. Valves are actuated via servo motors, solenoids, and pneumatics, and data collection is captured via thermocouples, pressure transducers, accelerometers, and load cells. Main operations during testing are accomplished remotely through the Ground Operations Device (G.O.D.) Box.

view HTS media Gallery


  • Structures: a weldment, forward engine stiffener, and primary thrust structure secures the engine and transfers load

  • Tank stand: stabilizes and protects oxidizer and nitrogen tanks

  • Main fluids panel: filters and fills the ox tank, pressurizes the ox and fuel tanks with a bang bang nitrogen controller, and feeds nitrogen and propellant to the test stand

  • Purge and bleed panel: an orificed hard line drops nitrogen pressure to 250 psi to purge residual propellant from the engine; propellant is primed up to main valves using nitrogen pressurization and bleed valves to ensure consistent ignition timing

  • Pneumatics panel: provides high pressure nitrogen to actuate main ox and fuel valves and ox pre-valve

  • Main propellant feed panel: 1” flex lines deliver liquid fuel and oxidizer to engine at required flow rates

  • FireX: a water suppression system can be activated locally or remotely in the event of a fire on the stand


Technical Overview

Size: 52 in (l) x 24 in (w) x 24 (t)

Weight: 140 lbs

Maximum Engine Thrust: 10,000 lbs

Construction: ASTM A513 (1026) square steel tubing; 3003 Aluminum for modular plumbing panels

Current Configuration: Iron Lotus/Lotus Dev 2 (IPA, N2O)